Cheap Jersey Water Ice

We are off on our adventure! We left Thursday from Philly and now we are tied to a mooring in Georgetown, MD. However, we never got to blog about what we did in the boat yard in Riverside, NJ for three whole weeks, because we were too busy binge watching Last Week Tonight with John Oliver and that’s what we chose to do with the free wifi there.

Lucky you, now you get to find out (the highlights of) what we did… and I will post more about our first week at sea the next time we get a good signal!

We started by going to Riverside from Philly, and packing a shop vac, two bikes, a bike trailer, a ladder, and several other tools in the V-berth. It was kind of like a clown car.

Then we were hauled out of the water and put on jacks next to her big sister Merry, a Bristol Channel Cutter.

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Shortly we realized that our ladder was too small, so we had to make a ladder. The bike trailer was the only option for hauling those 10-foot 2×4’s from Lowe’s. That’s an experience I don’t need to have again.

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After checking her out to find any unanticipated problems to be solved, we got to work scrubbing all of the grey wood on deck to prepare it for painting. This hadn’t been done in three years, so I will just say that we killed a lot of spiders doing it, and any good luck you want to send our way would be welcome.

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Then we set to work peeling and scraping off all the old varnish, paint, and adhesive on the wood.

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Then we sanded all the wood and taped off all the nooks and crannies…THEN we finally put on a coat of primer! And started to paint!

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The paint went much slower than anticipated, in part because it kept raining. One day between coats, the rain created water bubbles in the tape and also cemented the tape to the boat in some places, so we had to remove all of that ugly stuff and re-tape the whole thing.

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We also painted the whale stripe black. This had its share of difficulties too, because paint is incredibly frustrating. But Kasy taught me a cool skill–the technique of roll and tip, where one person rolls on the paint to get it in an even layer, and the other person immediately follows by brushing out the paint with a wide brush. If done right, it should look like one long, even brushstroke.

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Fine, I will give you a break from paint. There were a lot of interesting problems with the rudder that needed to be solved.  One problem included reattaching the auxiliary rudder for the self-steering gear. If you’ve read our earlier posts, this smaller rudder was cracked off by ice in January, and in August Kasy scuba dived to the bottom of the marina and miraculously found it.

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So after drying it out and epoxying the cracks, the rudder was bolted back into place and Kasy wrapped it with fiberglass to secure it.

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Another rudder issue was that the bearings on the rudder and the auxiliary rudder for the self-steering gear were worn and ovalized, so when you tried to rotate either of them, there was a lot of play.

The coolest thing about fixing this is that you can MAKE A BEARING using epoxy and graphite powder.  What you have to do is mix up a bunch of epoxy with graphite, squeeze it in and around where the bearing needs to go, and then put a coating of wax on whatever needs to turn inside the bearing (to keep the epoxy from sticking to it). Then, you squish the waxed thing inside the hole with the epoxy and let it set overnight. Since graphite is a natural lubricant, the epoxy will cure to make a tight seal, but the graphite lubricates the bearing and allows movement.

Not sure if any of that made sense, but it’s so useful I had to explain. Hopefully the pictures below will give you more context.

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The one issue with this method is that sometimes there are gaps in the epoxy when it cures, so those have to be refilled and you have to wait another day until the bearing is complete. But it’s worth it because it’s so cheap and easy!

Back to paint real quick: We painted the rudder cheeks, that white part on the upper part of the rudder. I included this mostly because I like the phrase “rudder cheeks.”

That puts us late in the Riverside Marina journey, and the last thing we did was complete the bottom paint. We evened out our old water line and taped it off, and then spent a whole day sanding the hull and the rudder and putting a coat of thick viscous black bottom paint on.

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Then we were really tired of working in the boatyard so we got some cheap Jersey water ice…. making Kasy a happy camper.

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The transformation is sort of complete… even though it’s never complete… as they say… So then she was ready for water! We were launched and then headed back to Philly for two days to say our byes and head south.

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Ah, Philly… land where the Phillies mascot attends neighborhood barbecues and rides bike share bikes. We will miss you.

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Those are real pictures taken by me, by the way.

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Last Philly sunset. There will be much more soon, as we will be marooned in Georgetown for a few days waiting for hurricane Joaquin to blow over.

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8 Responses to Cheap Jersey Water Ice

  1. susan says:

    Emmy you are amazing!

  2. Dad and Joan says:

    Hi Kasy and Emma!
    Awesome post! The boat looks terrific! Please be careful riding-out Joaquin this week.

  3. Adam says:

    Welcome to the Chesapeake. I’m a little scared that you may be heading to some of the destinations I recommended. I hope I didn’t steer you wrong.

    I am also out sailing for the next few weeks, and also figuring out what to do about Joaquin as I’m anchored in the Rhode River for the SSCA Annapolis Gam. I’m hoping it passes well offshore as a trip back to Middle River looks unpleasant with the current forecast.

    Assuming we both survive the impending storm that Mother Nature is throwing at us, we should try and end up in the same harbor at the same time at some point in the next couple weeks. I’d love to meet you guys.

    • Hey Adam,

      We’ve hit two of the places you’ve recommended and they have both worked out great, so no need to worry. We are staying attached to a mooring buoy in Georgetown until this storm passes, so we should be fine. I hope you’re able to get home safely!

      We’re planning on exploring Worton Creek and Fairlee creek as soon as weather permits, and staying in the upper Chesapeake for a while, so we would love to come find you at some point. Where on frog mortar creek do you live? If we anchored in there, where would we drop the hook to come say hi?

      Let us know…

      -emma

  4. Adam says:

    I’m out sailing myself for the next couple weeks, so won’t be at my home port. Normally you’d find a place to drop the hook right after the airport, and you’d see the sunset cove restaurant which is at my marina. Unless things change weather wise, though, there’s a better chance of finding me out and about.

    It looks like Juaquin may give us a pass. Knock on wood.

  5. We miss you guys! It was so cool to be parked next to Stout.

    Enjoy the Chesapeake. My dad said to remind you to watch for low hanging branches over the Great Dismal Swamp – we met a sailboat down there when we were canoeing, and the owner said that she damaged her windex on a low branch.

  6. Hey thar,

    We’ve been corresponding with Andy and Sarah on “Scrhappy,” who met you in Chesapeake City, they told us to look you guys up…We’re planning on heading down the ICW this Fall as well. We’re hoping to leave in 2-3 weeks from the Rappahannock, give us a shout if you make it down to the southern Bay before then and we’ll give you a hot shower and a ride to the grocery store, if not maybe we’ll see you out there!

    Chris and Ryan
    chris.jed.smith@gmail.com

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